The Ataris Reunite for 10th Anniversary ‘So Long, Astoria’ Tour

When you hear the song “The Boys of Summer” today, it’s typically The Ataris version reviving that Don Henley classic and whether intentional or not, it became a massive hit peaking at No. 20 in the Hot 100 and helped place the band in the mainstream. The band’s most successful album to date, ‘So Long, Astoria’, spawned singles like “In This Diary” and “The Saddest Song” and 10 years later, the original lineup will reunite to play the album in its entirety.

Despite ups and downs and a “break” that has continued since the release of ‘So Long, Astoria’, the band brings a renewed spirit to the experience of the album and is looking forward to restoring the nostalgia that the band enjoyed during their time together while reigniting that same spirit in the fans that loved the album. Kristopher Roe, John Collura, Mike Davenport, and Chris Knapp will embark on a 25-date US tour kicking off Feb. 28.

We caught up with guitarist John Collura and here’s what he had to say about the tour:

Going back to the recording of So Long, Astoria, did you know it would be the commercial success that it was?

I think we felt as if the record was a solid piece of work and we figured that there were at least a couple of songs that would be worked at radio. I think our first week of sales were around 60,000 which completely took us by surprise. Once the Boys of Summer single was released we started to sell 20,000 copies a week for almost 3 months. Going into the 5th month of the release of the album we had a gold record. In the past the band had sold just about 100,000 copies of both Blue Skies and End is Forever so we really thought we would at least sell a little more than that and we were wrong!

How did the production experience with Lou Giordano differ from previous recording experience?

Well, there was so much more time available to us for pre production and recording. With that there was also a much bigger budget for us to access different studios and all kinds of guitars and amps…etc. Lou also taught us how to structure our songs better and there was a lot of smaller details that he helped us with to make the songs more dynamic. He was also extremely patient!

Was there any particularly awesome or particularly awful moment during the ‘So Long, Astoria’ recording/touring process?

During pre production Kris was choking while eating and Lou had to administer the heimlich maneuver on him! For me playing the Reading festival was a pretty amazing experience. We also opened for the Red Hot Chili Peppers in Germany and that was probably the largest show I had ever played.

What inspired the Don Henley “The Boys of Summer” cover? What were the feelings on that single becoming a massive hit?

The song was purely about nostalgia for Kris. When he was young he spent his summers in Florida with his grandparents and he had bought that Don Henley record during one of his visits. It really was just an ode to his grandparents and to that time of his life. The cover was never intended to be a single until KROQ Los Angeles started spinning it without consent from the label. So we were pretty much forced to release it as a proper single with a video. It certainly helped to sell records and maybe even attract listeners who may have never heard of the band before but it’s always difficult to have a song that isn’t your own representing you to the masses. The band had so much history of their own prior to that single; releasing 3 independent records, touring globally for years, gaining a solid fan base. So for us we really did fight the label by not performing it at shows and radio sponsored events. I think that whole experience had a part in why we disbanded. Many years later it is kind of cool to know that our version is still being played on the radio, at malls, gas stations and most major league ball parks.

What was your favorite location during touring in support of So Long, Astoria?

I really liked playing in Japan. The people are really friendly and it’s culturally the most diverse country we had played at the time. I also really loved being in the UK, the people there embrace many different genres of music and that’s why they created some of the best festivals to date.

10 years later, what are the feelings on the reunion tour with the same recording lineup? What was it like for the bandmates to reconnect and can we expect the same magic live as we heard on the album?

I think it’s nervous excitement! It’s kind of the unknown, not really sure what will happen, will people show up, will there be the same chemistry? For myself, my only intentions are to simply plug in, play loud and have a great time. I’d love to be able to recapture the same feelings I had when we were touring over 10 years ago.

Check out a sneak peak of what the reunion has been like for the guys below and don’t miss The Ataris at the House of Blues in Los Angeles, March 5.

Los Angeles’ Bravesoul unleashes The Infinite Hourglass

Los Angeles alternative rock trio Bravesoul just celebrated the release of their newest EP, The Infinite Hourglass.

Bandmates Marty Rod (guitars, keys, and vocals), Eric Noble (bass) and Maxwell Breaux (drums) put together an album that features melodic depth, a rich sound full of soul. The first single “Timebomb” is a great representation of their overall feel – definitely a heavier core accompanied by intentional harmonies and a level of complexity with each track.  You really hear influences of Fall Out Boy and Young The Giant with a Muse-like grandiosity.

In addition to the new release, the band’s single “If the Morning Ever Comes” is featured on VH1′s “You Oughta Know” Volume 1 available exclusively at Whole Foods Market stores.

Find out more at http://www.bravesoulofficial.com and check out their first single “TimeBomb” here:

My Goodness Packs A Punch at the Troubadour

Seattle duo My Goodness packs a punch with their limited stage setup. With Joel Schneider on guitar/vocals alongside drummer Andy Lum, joined by Cody Votolato on bass, what you see is what you get – stripped down rock with spirit. While setting the stage for Augustines at the Troubadour on Tuesday, it’s clear the heavy influences the band possesses by utilizing strong riffs, solid beats and dominating vocals.

When it comes to the “rock duo” drums/guitar formula, you sometimes feel you know what you’re about to hear even before a listen, then there’s this band. Pushing forth a sound that has both a hardness and just enough melodic composition to grab you, My Goodness makes an impression with what they produce on stage.

Currently on their North American tour, the addition of bassist Cody Votolato (The Blood Brothers, Jaguar Love) beefs up the sound even more and adds that much more to the live performance. Their set consistently kept the rock going, starting heavy followed by a bluesy breakdown mid set then right back up to high energy closing it out.

Definitely add this band to your must-see list. Keep an eye out for their fourthcoming album closer to Summer and check out http://www.mygoodnessmusic.com for upcoming tour dates.

The Red Paintings talk release of debut album ‘The Revolution Is Never Coming’

May The Day got to chat with Trash McSweeney of The Red Paintings and his violinist counterpart Alex. With the impending release of debut album The Revolution Is Never Coming, we got to know what to expect at a live show and how important art and visuals are to the full Red Paintings experience – including how to become a human canvas!

Check it out below – on MayTheDay.com!

The Assembly Line’s new EP The Places We Leave Behind released today!

The Assembly LineNew Yorkers The Assembly Line are an indie rock band celebrating today’s US release of their new EP The Places We Leave Behind.

Members Thor Nguyen (Vocals/Guitar), Chris Potter (Guitar), Zach Falkow (Bass) and Josh Ridley (Drums) came together in 2009 through a Craigslist ad which appears to have been a winning meeting as the guys have been on the upswing of success having had songs featured on MTV shows and performed with acts such as Maroon 5 and Yellowcard.

The band puts forth a catchy, simplistic pop-rock vibe. As new single “Empires” plays, there’s a vision of reliving the mid 2000’s with the sounds of Saves the Day, The Starting Line and Dashboard Confessional…and sure enough those are some of the band’s influences as well! The entire EP is a great combination of familiar sounds but with The Assembly Line’s flavor infused.

Singer Thor Nguyen explains, “’Empires’ is the next step in the evolution of The Assembly Line. With this song, fans will hear glimpses of why they love us and will be introduced to a much bigger sound.”

With this enjoyable indie rock approach, The Places We Leave Behind is a great listen.

Be sure to get The Assembly Line’s The Places We Leave Behind and check out their track “Tonight (There’s Only Us)” here!

H2O Festival hits Los Angeles Historic Park

Debuting in 2012 and backed by Univision Communications, the H2O Festival is a summer music festival targeting the Los Angeles bilingual Latino market. The event highlighted genres ranging from Latin, pop and hip-hop and featured diverse acts including headliners Pitbull and A Tribe Called Quest.

Check out performances by Big Boi, Pitbull, A Tribe Called Quest and Prince Royce with a special appearance by Jessica Sanchez.

H2O Festival 2013 Big Boi

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H2O Festival 2013 Prince Royce

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H2O Festival 2013 A Tribe Called Quest

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H2O Festival 2013 Pitbull

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The Twilight Concert Series welcomed Hanni El Khatib to the Santa Monica Pier

Hanni El Khatib at the Santa Monica PierEvery Thursday night this summer, the Santa Monica pier hosts its Twilight Concert Series presented by Myspace – last week featured singer/songwriter Hanni El Khatib.

Fans of his first album and aware of the buzz surrounding him, we were eager to see El Khatib live – as was the massive crowd that had gathered on the pier. After lengthy intros from the concert sponsors, the Los Angeles guitarist took the stage with his brand of smooth. Tight lipped with the inter-song banter, this performance was all business but in a great way. He played familiar songs as heard on Will The Guns Come Out as well as current radio single “Penny” off his new release Head in the Dirt (produced by Black Keys’ Dan Auerbach). Each song was executed with a raw delivery and blunt simplicity creating a super easy reception of the material and was thoroughly enjoyable for an outdoor, Thursday night setting.

KCRW’s Dan Wilcox mentioned in his artist intro “He is just the best in the business, that’s what it comes down to folks…” In that vein and as hoped for, Hanni El Khatib did not disappoint and we are most definitely looking forward to catching him live again.

Hanni El Khatib - Santa Monica Pier

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RHS&S CONCERTS LLC/SANTA MONICA PIER CORP.

Y LUV at the Wilmore 9 Fest in Long Beach

Sporting neon attire, Y LUV’s brightly colored wardrobe matched the energy put forth through the band’s set. Giving off a genuine feel-good vibe, the band’s upbeat songs set the scene for an uplifting dance party – mission accomplished for their intentions with the audience.

“We just want to make them feel something, enjoy the show and walk away feeling light-hearted and happy and want to come back next time.”

- Nino Salazar (drummer)

Catch up with Y LUV here!

311 Unity Tour visits Verizon Wireless in Irvine, CA

311 brought their annual Unity Tour to Irvine, CA alongside friends G. Love & Special Sauce and Cypress Hill.

As always, 311 brought their rock/funk/alternative sounds to Southern California, the set including favs “Come Original”, “Amber” and “Stealing Happy Hours”.

And, as fans were hoping for, there was a surprise “Transistor” reunion. Taking advantage of Cypress Hill’s line-up support, 311 had Eric Bobo (Drummer & Percussionist of Cypress Hill) join them on stage to perform songs as they were recorded on the album.

The last night of the Unity Tour is tonight!

311 Unity Tour - Verizon

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